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Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 14;8(1):13804. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31772-0.

A leaky voltage sensor domain of cardiac sodium channels causes arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy.

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CERVO Research Center, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, Quebec City, QC, G1J 2G3, Canada.
Department of Biomedicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Cardiology and Emergency Departments, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
CERVO Research Center, Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec, Quebec City, QC, G1J 2G3, Canada.
Department of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, G1K 7P4, Canada.


Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a structural heart disease that causes dilatation of cardiac chambers and impairs cardiac contractility. The SCN5A gene encodes Nav1.5, the predominant cardiac sodium channel alpha subunit. SCN5A mutations have been identified in patients with arrhythmic disorders associated with DCM. The characterization of Nav1.5 mutations located in the voltage sensor domain (VSD) and associated with DCM revealed divergent biophysical defects that do not fully explain the pathologies observed in these patients. The purpose of this study was to characterize the pathological consequences of a gating pore in the heart arising from the Nav1.5/R219H mutation in a patient with complex cardiac arrhythmias and DCM. We report its properties using cardiomyocytes derived from patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cells. We showed that this mutation generates a proton leak (called gating pore current). We also described disrupted ionic homeostasis, altered cellular morphology, electrical properties, and contractile function, most probably linked to the proton leak. We thus propose a novel link between SCN5A mutation and the complex pathogenesis of cardiac arrhythmias and DCM. Furthermore, we suggest that leaky channels would constitute a common pathological mechanism underlying several neuronal, neuromuscular, and cardiac pathologies.

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